Hotel Chelsea, the infamous home for over 100 years to artists, musicians, painters, dropouts, and the poignant underground was sold in August of 2011 and closed its doors for the fist time in history for full renovations. American photographer, Victoria Cohen, was invited to exclusively encapsulate the documentation of the very essence of the building’s original interior before it’s imminent demise. This was the end of a bygone chapter in an epic epoch, which would be forever lost in time and space.
Uniquely, Cohen was able to use the Hotel as a muse, a lover, with the personal insight and exceptional vision to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Her work transcends the concept of an interior space as an environment filled with inanimate objects, and redefines the subject matter into individual portraits that evoke a feeling of sensuality and intimacy. Her book, Hotel Chelsea, Pointed Leaf Press, 2013, is a dedication to the romanticism and decay; a depiction of fine art without text.
One can feel the Hotel Chelsea as a host, a beloved body of work and an homage to the ones who inhabited the iconic mecca of creativity this monumental dwelling that gave refuge to so many of the 20th centuries great artists, writers, musicians, including Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, William S Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Arthur Miller, Dylan Thomas, Leonard Cohen, Allen Ginsberg, etc. Not to mention the thousands upon thousands of nameless souls those have passed through the Chelsea’s doors.
Cohen’s photographic journey was an endeavor both mesmerizing and bittersweet turned into an evocative and ambitious collection of fine art tableaus both desolate and deeply sensual This prominent specific body of work casts the historic landmark through the lens of the twenty-first century, exhibiting it as it has never been seen before, and will never be seen again.